US Policy on Hong Kong Needs an Update

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On February 27th, a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives introduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. A companion bill is due to be introduced in the Senate soon as well. Both bills update US policy in response to last fall’s large-scale protests, dubbed the “Umbrella Movement” for the umbrellas that demonstrators used to shield themselves from tear gas. Protestors took over central Hong Kong streets after Beijing announced that it would screen candidates for the election of the territory’s top post—with loyalty to the Communist Party being a litmus test. 

Beijing’s effort to block democratic elections in Hong Kong is just the latest sign that the “one country, two systems” arrangement, under which Hong Kong was to run its affairs, is not working. As Representative Chris Smith noted in introducing the bill, “A status quo US policy is unsustainable if Beijing continues to insist that Hong Kong become like mainland China.” Smith is right—US policy has to change—but the bill he and his colleagues introduced doesn’t change it enough.

- Read the remainder of this post on Democracy Road, FPI Senior Fellow Ellen Bork's blog at World Affairs Journal

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